St. Louis, Mo., September 14, 2013 – Sophomore kicker Alex Hallwachs booted a 27-yard field goal in the second overtime as the Washington University in St. Louis football team posted a 10-7 come-from-behind win over Rhodes in the 2013 home opener Saturday afternoon at Francis Field in St. Louis.
After a scoreless first overtime that saw both teams miss a field goal, Washington U.'s defense forced a three and out in the second overtime that resulted into a 35-yard miss by Rhodes kicker Michael Aucoin. Junior Zach Lonneman then carried the ball down to the Rhodes 10-yard line on a 15-yard run for the Bears, and three plays later Hallwachs split the upright for the game-winning field goal.
Lonneman ran the ball 20 times for a career-high 100 yards, becoming the first 100-yard rusher for Washington U. since Chris Castelluccio gained 137 yards on Nov. 12, 2011, against Chicago. The Bears gained 177 yards on 39 carries in the win, and had a 318-300 advantage in total offense.
A scoreless first quarter saw Washington U.'s defense allow just 28 yards of total offense on 15 plays and forced three punts. The Bears' offense totaled 123 yards in the opening quarter, but was hampered by two turnovers.
Rhodes' offense struggled on its first six possessions of the game, but put together an 11-play, 99-yard drive late in the second quarter to break the scoreless tie. Sophomore quarterback Blake Box connected with sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Wiener for a 39-yard touchdown pass across the middle to make it 7-0 with 5:24 left.
Washington U.'s offense drove down to the Rhodes 32-yard line after senior quarterback Eric Daginella connected with junior wide receiver Tim Bartholomew for a 47-yard reception, but Bartholomew was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to halt the drive. On the ensuing Bears' possession, Daginella found Bartholomew open across the middle for a 17-yard catch, but Bartholomew fumbled and Rhodes recovered on the 20-yard line.
Washington U. had a 188-159 advantage in total offense but turned the ball over three times in the first half. Sophomore Alec Stanke had five punts in the opening half for a 35.0 average, including three inside the 20 and a career-long 51-yarder.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Bears' defense stopped Rhodes on 4th-and-1 on the Lynx 46-yard line after a one-yard stop by senior defensive back Tate Byers. Washington U. took advantage of the defensive stop and found the end zone eight plays later when Daginella scored from two yards out. The extra point by Hallwachs was good to tie the score at 7-7 with 8:45 remaining.
Rhodes (1-1) drove down to the WUSTL 27-yard line with less than two minutes remaining in the game, and brought out Tucker Nichols to attempt a game-winning 45-yard field goal. Rhodes was called for a false start and pushed the ball back to the 32-yard line. Rhodes then went for it on fourth down, but Box was intercepted by junior defensive back Ryan Bednar at the WUSTL six-yard line to halt the drive. The interception for Bednar was his third of the game, tying a school record.
Daginella threw for 141 yards on 13-of-32 passing, and picked up 38 yards on 10 carries for 179 yards of total offense. Bartholomew was Daginella's favorite target, as he hauled in six catches for 97 yards.
Washington U.'s defense limited Rhodes to 64 passing yards, and forced the Lynx to 4-of-17 on third downs and 1-of-5 on fourth down. Senior defensive lineman Nelson Nwumeh tied a career-high with 10 tackles (six solo, four assisted), while senior linebacker Peter Lowery and sophomore defensive lineman Andrew Nelms each added six tackles.
Kevin Viera (78 yards), Mitch DeKozan (57 yards) and Dane Wilson (54 yards) led the rushing attack for Rhodes, which piled up 236 yards on 62 carries in the loss. Box was 11-for-23 for 64 yards and was picked off three times.
Washington U. (1-1) travels to No. 22 ranked Coe College Saturday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. and Rhodes met for the 26th-straight season and 50th time in school history … Rhodes leads the all-time series 25-24-1 … Washington U. has won six-straight meetings in St. Louis between the two teams … Rhodes had a 36:48-23:12 advantage in time of possession … Head coach Larry Kindbom is 2-4 all-time in overtime games, including a 1-3 mark against Rhodes … The double OT game was the first in school history.